Tombstone, Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- Another swing and a miss for the NRA and their high-priced attorneys at the Brewer law firm, this time in a motion to intervene in a case brought by Ranier Arms and the Second Amendment Foundation. This is just the latest in a long line of expensive failures for the NRA’s very expensive attorneys.
A few weeks ago, the Firearms Policy Coalition won an injunction in the Federal Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to halt enforcement of the BATFE’s new rule on pistol stabilizing braces, but only for the plaintiffs in the case.
The new rule went into effect on June first and makes anyone still in possession of an AR-type pistol with a stabilizing brace attached after that date a felon unless they had previously filed paperwork to register the brace-equipped firearm as a Short-Barreled Rifle (SBR) under the National Firearms Act. Several groups and individuals had challenged the new rule in various lawsuits, and most of those cases called for the courts to block enforcement of the new rule until the courts could resolve the constitutionality of the rule and render final decisions.
The case filed by the Firearms Policy Coalition, along with some pistol brace manufacturers, sellers, and individual brace owners, made its way to the Fifth Circuit shortly before the end of May deadline, and the judges agreed that the plaintiffs should be protected from prosecution until the case could reach a final judicial resolution. The plaintiffs immediately asked the court for clarification regarding the scope of the protection, and the court responded by saying that all of the plaintiffs, their customers, and all members of the Firearms Policy Coalition were protected by the injunction.
On the heels of that limited injunction, District Court judges in two other cases within the Fifth Circuit followed suit, issuing injunctions protecting the plaintiffs, including the members of involved organizations. One case was brought by Gun Owners of America, the Gun Owners Foundation, and the state of Texas, while Rainier Arms brought the other, the Second Amendment Foundation, and two private citizens.
Under the three temporary injunctions issued, it appears that all members of the Firearms Policy Coalition, along with all members of Gun Owners of America, and all members of the Second Amendment Foundation, are shielded from prosecution under the new BATFE rule, pending a final determination by the courts on these cases. It also appears that these protections don’t just apply to members of these organizations at the time the lawsuits were filed or those who became members before the June first deadline, but also to anyone who subsequently joined or joins any of these organizations.
The National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest organization of gun owners, wanted in on this action, so on June 7, they filed a motion to intervene in the Ranier Arms/Second Amendment Foundation case, but today (June 30) the judge, in that case, denied the NRA’s motion, saying that the organization had plenty of time to have taken action before the rule went into effect. The NRA is involved in a different lawsuit challenging the pistol brace rule, but the judge, in that case, has not issued any injunction against the enforcement of the new BATFE rule.
The Second Amendment Foundation, upon hearing about the judge’s rejection of NRA’s efforts to intervene in their case, immediately put out a press release magnanimously inviting NRA members who want protection from the BATFE’s pistol brace rule to join their organization. Annual memberships can be had for as little as $15, and a Life Membership in the organization is only $150. While we’ve not seen an official statement from Gun Owners of America or the Firearms Policy Coalition, we’re confident both of those organizations would also welcome NRA members seeking shelter. Information on joining these groups can be found at www.SAF.org, www.GunOwners.org, and www.FirearmsPolicy.org, respectively.
For clarification, the organization I run is The Firearms Coalition and is not affiliated with any of these organizations, though we support them and applaud their efforts.
Our organization focuses on providing timely, actionable information and a historical perspective on the battle for gun rights, along with support for state and local grassroots rights organizations. We don’t engage in litigation. You can learn more about us at www.FirearmsCoalition.org.
While it appears that all members of the above-named organizations should be protected from prosecution under the BATFE’s new rule regarding pistol braces until this whole mess is finally settled in the courts, the prudent steps owners of brace-equipped rifles should consider is to remove the braces and separate them from the pistols – preferably in the care of someone who doesn’t own an AR-type pistol – just to be on the safe side.
It’s worth noting that a resolution calling for repeal of the pistol brace rule was narrowly passed by the US House but was defeated in the US Senate on a straight party-line vote, with all Democrats in the Senate – including self-proclaimed pro-gun senators like John Tester (D-MT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Kirstin Senima (I-AZ) – voting against the resolution. All Senate Republicans voted for the measure. Joe Biden had promised to veto the resolution if it reached his desk, so we all knew that this effort probably wasn’t going to yield a victory, but the effort did provide us with record votes from people who claim to be our friends, and those who we know are our enemies. We’ll be reminding voters about this vote in the next election.
As to the NRA’s failed, belated attempt to get protection for their members, we have to wonder what exactly the Association is getting from the Brewer law firm that’s worth the tens of millions of dollars NRA is paying them? They were reportedly paid over $60 million last year alone, but they’ve lost almost every case they’ve been involved in, and had almost every motion they’ve entered slapped down.
Is anyone on the NRA Board of Directors even curious about this?